I think I'll start my own series, and instead of investigating crime scenes, I'll investigate diaper scenes. Surely it's criminal for my kids to wake up in stinky diapers and with rashes.
Here are the facts ma'am, only the facts. (Please forgive my mixed TV metaphors.)
The diapers don't stink or leave rashes when used during they day, the diapers are changed at least every 3 hours, but often times more frequently. We have hard water (leaves lime scale and rust). For night time, the microfiber I have stinks, and leaves ammonia burn. They don't have repelling issues. The microbfiber is about 10 months old. I have a front loader. I use country save HE detergent.
If you really are interested, you can read more about this in a post I wrote about a month ago. I had several ideas listed there on potential solutions, and I've given some of them a try.
Here is some of what I've learned in the past month:
Stuffing a pocket diaper with a prefold and a hemp insert seems to work okay for N. I don't like the bulkiness, and I think it might make sleep uncomfortable for him. Last night, I had E in two cotton prefolds, covered by a large Thirsties cover (finally got some larger covers! I was holding out, hoping she would potty learn, but no such luck.) Honestly, I don't know how much she might have woken up, since she usually bothers Jude when she wakes. I don't think the diaper was irritating to her. Jude changed her diaper when she got up in the morning. He said he could smell it when she came into the room, but he couldn't tell me if it smelled like ammonia. She didn't appear to have any rash when I checked her later. N, on the other hand...
He was in a pocket diaper stuffed with microfiber and a hemp insert for added absorbency. He didn't appear to be bothered by the diaper at night, and the diaper didn't have a strong odor, but he had noticeable diaper rash that has been slowly improving over the day. These microfiber inserts had been stripped with dawn (Added a squirt of dawn to the wash, then rinsing until there are no bubbles.)
I'm actually trying two different stripping techniques. I used the Dawn, and I don't know that I can tell a difference. I'm working on an OxyClean soak, and still in the process of rinsing. I laid them out flat in the sun to see if that would help any, too. Getting the OxyClean out is a trial. I have had to take the inserts out of the washer simply so I can wash some other things, and then when that's done, I put them back into the washer for more rinsing. Perhaps I used too much oxy...
And, just to be clear, I'm only stripping the microfiber inserts. Not the cotton, not the hemp, not the covers or pockets. I'm too concerned about ruining the elastic to do too many things to them. Besides, I haven't noticed that there are any problems with the aforementioned items.
So far I haven't gotten into washing the synthetic fibers separate from the natural fibers.
I have been incorporating an idea I read over on the cottonbabies blog: I've been rinsing each and every diaper with a diaper sprayer before it goes into the diaper pail. It's a little more work, but if it can help get the stink out, then it's totally worth it. I know some have been missed when others are taking care of diapers, but I already have noticed a difference when I take diapers to the washer after 2-3 days in the pail. Much less stink. It helps keep the room from smelling, too (not that it really smelled that bad to start with.)
So, where from here? I'm going to use cotton and hemp as overnight diapers, and keep working on methods for getting the stink out of the microfiber. Hopefully the kids won't be too bothered by the bulk or the wetness.
Also, I've been reading about Rock'n Green detergent. I've used several different detergents over the past 3 years, all in the "approved for cloth" category, and have been okay with them. I'm hoping for more than okay (as in, no more stink!) I love that they offer samples, and I think I'll be ordering some in the near future.